Friday, November 25, 2005

ENoB IV - The Goblet of Ire

For this week's ENoB, we are going to delve into everyone's favorite punching bag, the pharmaceutical industry. This time we aren't looking for an adjective, we are assessing blame. Ironically, neither of the two targets I am offering up for blame is Glaxo, even though they are the root cause. Back in March, Glaxo ran afoul of the FDA for failing to adhere to the GMP (good manufacturing practices). Paxil CR was taken off the market until Glaxo could resolve the manufacturing issues. The FDA issued a press release. The first indication for many taking the medication that something was amiss was that they went to pick up a refill and were told that the pharmacy didn't have any. In fact, none of the local pharmacies had any. What's more, they didn't know why. You now have a patient who needs anxiety meds anxious about the fact that they can't get them. Patient calls doctor. Doctor is surprised, too. So, whose responsibility is it to notify the consumer? The doctor and pharmacy both have information what medications their customers are using. Shouldn't one of them have noticed the press release and taken steps to notify the people who could be detrimentally affected? Or perhaps you think Glaxo is responsible. Or the consumer. In that case, your vote is neither. Pharmacy? Doctor? Either, Neither, or both?